…BoG Governor tells banks
As the Central Bank provides a platform for the transition from a cash-dominant to a cash-lite economy, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Ernest Addison has called on banks to reinvent or risk being disrupted.
Speaking at the launch of PaySwitch Company on Wednesday, Dr. Addison said “the Bank more than welcomes a more competitive payment landscape that the new reforms bring into the payment ecosystem as the number of non-bank e-money issuers increase.”
“We are not in the business of protecting the incumbents,” he emphasised.
This comes only a week after the launch of the mobile money interoperability platform.
As the central bank improves on the regulatory and supervisory frameworks and the needed financial architecture, Dr. Addison asked that, all stakeholders in the payment ecosystem intensify efforts to innovate products and services to support the cash-lite and financial inclusiveness agenda.
In transitioning from a cash-dominant economy to a cash-lite economy, on the back of electronic payments, would require that stakeholders nurture consumer confidence in the payment systems.
To this effect, the Governor said, stakeholders must seek to provide consumers with adequate information needed to confidently transact businesses within the electronic ecosystem.
“This should be supported by consumer education, transparency and timely responses to consumer concerns, as well as enhanced reliability, security and availability of all electronic payment services.”
Equally important are initiatives to enhance cyber security and engender greater public awareness of the security characteristics and safety guides to mitigate fraud in electronic payment systems, he mentioned.
In view of these developments, the Central Bank has published the consumer complaints and recourse mechanism guidelines to safeguard and encourage usage of electronic payments, while it has also prepared a cyber-security directive for the industry which is being discussed with all stakeholders, among other measures.
To further strengthen the payment system, the Bank of Ghana is introducing an omnibus Payment Systems and Services Bill, which is currently before Cabinet.
The passage of this bill into law is expected to further improve the regulatory environment and provide additional support for emerging digital financial services while minimizing related threats associated with financial inclusiveness.
This new law will, among other things, make provision for emerging payments streams such as e-money, prepaid cards, credit card, e-platforms and payments instruments.
It will as well provide for non-banks to establish, own and manage e-money business in the form of a separate entity to be supervised by the central bank.
This will promote innovation in the design of new secure electronic money products and payment services and increase competition in the electronic money business. This is expected to open up the electronic money space to engender financial inclusion and help to reduce poverty.
As the payment industry expands, efforts by fintechs should be directed at innovative financial products that provide efficiency gains and cost savings compared with the traditional payment methods, Dr Addison stated
He assured that, the central bank will continue to play a facilitating role to further develop the payment systems infrastructure, take proactive actions to safeguard the security of the financial market infrastructure and customer funds, and promote an enabling environment for innovative products and services to thrive.
By Joshua W. Amlanu